Most smart businesses are now online and using social media – but many are making common social media mistakes when doing their daily posts.
If you own a small business, chances are you’re looking to interact with your customers on social networks and promote your products and services on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
The bright part of social media is that anyone can use these efficient communication channels without being an online marketing expert. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean you won’t fail at times and make mistakes.
Fortunately, many social media mistakes are quite common and can easily be avoided once you become aware of them. Have you ever done any of the following 6 mistakes?
1. Posting overly-promotional statuses
Social media are marketing tools, but they should not be used to sell directly or advertise your products and services intensively. Your main focus should be engaging with customers and building a trusting relationship with them, not doing sales blatantly.
Most social media experts argue that promotional messages should not exceed 20% of all updates. Even for those 20% updates, you should avoid pushy language and bad practices like displaying discounts in all caps.
The best choice for promoting your offerings with fewer restraints? Consider Facebook advertising, your website, and email marketing.
2. Not interacting with your customers
So, you have written and scheduled your updates for the next week, and now you just forget about your social media accounts for the next few days? After all, what’s the sense of asking a question or sharing a resource if you don’t check other people’s reactions and respond to them?
By neglecting interaction with your fans, you will be perceived solely as a money-making company which set up a Facebook account just because everybody else is doing it.
We recommend you to check your social media accounts at least a couple of times a day, depending on the traffic, and also interact with your fans and followers, answer customer inquiries, share other people’s updates, and handle your direct messages. Remember that conversation is the lifeblood of social media, so communicate with and not only to your audiences regularly.
3. Having an incomplete profile
Even if having a complete profile with an appropriate cover photo or extensive contact information is a no-brainer, many businesses fail to take some simple measures to make their fan page more attractive. Take a look at your social media accounts and see if you have checked all the elements on the following list:
• Contact information – complete address, phone number, email, opening hours
• Cover photo – choose a branded picture, preferably including a brief description of your business
• Profile picture – it should be your logo or an image representative for your business
• Links – to your website, blog, and other social media profiles
• Your company’s description and other profile information, depending on what social network you are using
4. Trying to handle accounts on multiple social networks
If you are a beginner or lack the manpower to sustain multiple accounts, it doesn’t make any sense being on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Vine at the same time. Don’t get started on a social network if you can’t sustain your activity throughout time. Not being present on a social network is actually better for your image than having an account you don’t use and looking neglectful.
Our advice is starting with one or two accounts and move to other social networks as well in time, as you become more experienced and your business achieves more growth.
5. Transforming your followers into forced newsletter subscribers
You need to find better ways of generating leads, others than identifying potential customers on social networks, getting their email addresses, and sending your newsletter to them without asking for their permission. You’ll only manage to annoy those people and have your emails ignored of flagged as spam, instead of getting new customers.
6. Not using calls-to-action
Are you experiencing a low level of response to your content in spite of all your hard work?
The cause may be not using efficient and easy to follow calls-to-action. These incentives encourage followers and fans to take the next step after reading your content – checking your products, viewing your sales catalogue, or sharing your updates.
Remember that engaging content is just the entry to the marketing funnel – your efforts shouldn’t stop here. True enough, you shouldn’t sell on social media, but what you need to do is to nurture those leads and attract them towards other direct marketing channels.
All the 6 common social media mistakes listed above have one thing in common – not providing enough valuable input and trying to win customers with little effort. Promoting your business on social media may turn out to be more difficult than you expected, but your sustained effort will pay off in time.